While doing some research on local ghost stories for my third novel, A Haunted Death, I have come across quite a bit of information about the spirits that haunt the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville.
I’ll admit that I never saw anything supernatural during my years at U.T., but apparently lots of other folks have. Let me share with you a few of the more interesting haunts (or haints if you are from East Tennessee).
Of course there would be Civil War ghosts running all over campus. That just makes sense seeing as how the graves of eight unidentified Union soldiers were found when the school was digging the foundation for Blount Hall. The bodies were removed, but the spirits linger on. Some people claim eight men in Union uniform can be seen talking and comparing maps near their original graves.
Anyone who has ever attended a class on ‘The Hill’ knows two things. One, the climb is steeper than it looks. Two, you have to watch out for the barghest. Okay, so maybe most people don’t know to watch out for a supernatural dog with big teeth and claws that haunts the hillside day and night. I’m not real sure how this one got started, but large ghostly dogs have shown up in English folklore over and over again. Maybe this is a spirit that came over with a couple of our ancestors back in the day.
My favorite ghost is The Evening Primrose. She pulls books off of the shelves in Hoskins Library. A fairly typical spirit, except for the fact that she announces her presence with the smell of baking cornbread. Only in East Tennessee do you get ghosts like that!
Have any of you UT alumni encountered anything strange on the campus? If so, I’d love to hear your story!